We strongly condemn the Sri Lankan government’s continued use of the Terrorism Act to intimidate and arrest Tamil activists and journalists.
In a statement issued by the People’s Uprising Movement from Pottuvil to Polikandy in this regard,
On Sunday, two intelligence officers from the Anti-Terrorist Squad visited the residence of Mr. Sabaratnam Sivayoganathan (Seelan), a human rights civil society activist and one of the coordinators of the People’s Uprising Movement from Pottuvil to Polikandy.
Investigations were carried out into whether the LTTE was trying to regenerate itself and whether he was maintaining links with organizations banned by the Sri Lankan government. Investigations were also carried out on journalists associated with him.
It must be seen as an attempt by the government to brand someone as an outsider, as usual, as a terrorist, and as a ploy by the government to intimidate civil society activists and paralyze their activities and advance their dictatorial anti-democratic regime.
All of the above investigations are aimed at intimidating human rights civil activists in the name of investigations and giving them psychological threats and crises that prevent them from continuing to work for the needy.
Especially in the Eastern Province, a part of the Tamil homeland, civil activists, including journalists, have recently been arrested and imprisoned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on charges of commemorating by posting photos of their relatives who were killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces on Facebook.
The move is a pressure on all Tamil human rights civil rights activists in the Tamil homeland, giving them indirect threats, intimidation, and crisis. The past and present activities and initiatives of this government are the best examples of this.
The government continues its anarchy and repression without any change or conscience at a time when the entire population is worried about the lives during the impact of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the country. It is therefore a matter of concern what the next stage will be when there are no security guarantees for human rights activists in this country, especially in the face of the threatening repression of Tamil human rights activists operating in the North East.
International human rights activists therefore strongly condemn the government’s anarchic anti-democratic activities, especially the arrest and investigation of Tamils under the Prohibition of Terrorism Act, and call for an end to this practice and guarantee the activities of human rights civil society activists. We also urge the UN Commissioner to focus on these issues in the collection of evidence on human rights violations in Sri Lanka and to include issues related to the use of the PTA against Tamil-speaking people in the last six-month report.